Friday, August 10, 2007


Who originated the idea of the needlebook? Was it an exercise for young girls at school to practice their skills in sewing and embroidery, and to be given to Mothers as gifts? Needlework projects for bazaars and fairs to raise money for charity? A way to use up leftovers - pieces of silks, other fabric and ribbons? A way of sharing embroidery stitches like the samplers of the day?
Do you have any ideas as to who, where, why?

Like a million other questions we have about where many things originated, I suppose there will never be any definite answer. But we can be thankful that they exist. Collectors of vintage sewing appreciate the effort, the time, and the creativity that went into many of these needlebooks. Some are simply made, some are very elaborate, but they are all beautiful.

Above left - fabric covered card (obviously this one was using up pieces of leftover fabric, there is a seam top right hand corner), there are a few moth holes too. Right - a simply embroidered felt needlebook.

Above and below - Is this the cuff off a sleeve?

Below - a green silk needlebook, top ..and an open-weave wool embroidered cotton needlebook, bottom.

Above - the green silk needlebook also has a pocket inside.

Below left - an embroidered needlebook with the initials H A. Right - a needlebook decorated with ribbon flowers.

Below left - this is a newly-made crocheted needlebook with a vintage button worked for me by my dear friend Susan. A precious gift!
And right - another fabric-covered card vintage needlebook - petite size.

Please be in touch if you know of any history of the needlebook.

Still more to come!

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